2023 Women's Top 30: How Northwestern Fared vs. Projections


Tewaaraton Award winner Izzy Scane averaged nearly five points per game and led Northwestern to its first NCAA title since 2012.

Before USA Lacrosse Magazine looks ahead to what’s to come in 2024, our team of staff and contributors decided it was worth taking one last look at 2023.

After all, you have to look at the most recent results before making projections for what’s to come. To do that, we’re taking a journey through the top 30 teams in men’s and women’s lacrosse — what went right, what went wrong and what we should all think of that team’s season.

Was it a success? A failure? A mixture of both? You’ll find out our thoughts over the next month or so.


Nike/USA Lacrosse Preseason/Final Top 20 Ranking: 5/1
2023 record: 21-1 (6-0 Big Ten)


What didn't go right? After falling to Syracuse by one goal in game one, the Wildcats finished the season on a 21-game winning streak that included a Big Ten title and ended with the program's first national crown since 2012. The offense was the nation's most potent, leading Division I in goals per game (16.95). Tewaaraton Award winner Izzy Scane led Division I with 4.95 points per game and paced Northwestern with 99 goals and 134 points.  

Scane drove the train, but she had some notable co-conductors. Erin Coykendall joined her on the Tewaaraton finalist stage after tallying 58 goals and 50 assists. Mercer transfer Hailey Rhatigan (62 goals, 11 assists) shined in 18 starts and rookie Madison Taylor (53 goals, 17 assists) put together a memorable freshman year.  

But the defense, which had been the Wildcats' weak spot for several seasons, also looked stellar. Samantha White posted 31 caused turnovers and 68 draws. She was everywhere in the NCAA championship, finishing with seven draws and three caused turnovers and essentially sending BC's offense home midway through the second quarter. And in one of the season's most fun stories, Molly Laliberty, a transfer from Division III Tufts, stood tall in net, posting a .473 save percentage and looking sharp against some of the nation's top talent in the Big Ten.


Nothing. The lone blemish on the Wildcats' schedule was an opening-day loss to Syracuse that was fun to watch but ultimately meaningless.


The NCAA title game left no doubt about who the best team in the land was. Leading 3-2 in the second quarter, Northwestern scored 15 of the game's final 19 goals to beat Boston College 18-6, slamming the door on the 2023 season. It was extra sweet for Northwestern, which had previously lost in three straight final fours, including a stunning defeat against UNC in 2022 that need not be discussed further in such a well-deserved glowing season recap. 


A season for the ages, and we get Scane again next year. Life is good in Evanston.


Most Recent

Lindenwood to Discontinue Men's Lacrosse Following 2024 Season

Men's lacrosse is among 10 Lindenwood teams being discontinued.

Sean Kirwan's Dartmouth Team Made Breakthrough this Fall

Kirwan inherited a team with a strong culture that needed to push the pace.

Give & Go: Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse with Ava Angello

Flipping out with Ava Angello, the emerging Johns Hopkins superstar.

The Humphrey Connection: Ashley Joins Top Freshman Chloe at UNC

It's national championship or bust for the talented Humphrey sisters.

Twitter Posts

Get the best and latest from USALaxMagazine.com delivered weekly straight to your inbox: